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Leave the Car at Home

By: Joanne Walker BA (hons) - Updated: 13 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
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Cars are an integral part of modern life. Many families have two or more cars and very few families do not have one at all. They are used for the school run, for work, for family days out, for getting to and from activities – you name it, the car is probably used for it. But often, we are guilty of taking the car because we are so used to just jumping in it and driving wherever we need to go. In fact, often we do not stop to think to leave the car at home and start the engine even if our destination is relatively close by.

The School Run

Much is made, these days, of encouraging children to walk or cycle to school. Yet families in their droves continue to drive their children to school on a daily basis, whether it is five minutes or five miles away. There are, of course, many instances where the school run has to be done by car – if the school is far away or the parent has to go straight to work. But there are also plenty of times that the car could be left at home in order to get a bit more exercise and reduce carbon footprints at the same time.

Walking to school is always the best option if the school is close by. If the parent has to go on to work, and this is why they drive, then why not try flexi working, asking if you can start a little later so you can walk the child to school first? If the school is far away, then investigate public transport, especially if your child is old enough to go on their own.

Public Transport

For other uses of the car, consider public transport. Often cheaper and always more environmentally friendly than a car it can also mean you all get some exercise in the shape of walking to the bus stop or train station. Most places are easily accessible by some form of public transport and the advantage is that you do not have to worry about finding a parking place or getting there in the first place if your navigating skills are not too good.


But the easiest way to leave the car at home is to walk wherever it is you need to go. Of course, some journeys need transport but we all make plenty of journeys in your daily lives which do not need the car but we use it anyway. This can include popping to the shops or to a friend’s house. Next time you pick up the car keys, just stop to think about whether you really need to get in the car or whether there is a solution which is better for the environment and your body.

Leaving the car at home is not as scary a prospect as you may imagine. In fact, once you start to walk places, you may well realise that it is actually quite enjoyable and that you can feel the health benefits straightaway, just from being outside in the fresh air, as well as the actual exercise you are taking. It is a small change but one which can have a huge impact on your life.

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